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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

19 Jan 11. Schiebel Aircraft GmbH and Wescam L-3 Communications are delighted to announce the first flight of a CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAV with the Wescam MX-10 EO/IR payload installed. This adds another sensor capability to the successful and proven CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAS. After just a few days of installation and integration activities of a joint L-3 Wescam Schiebel team, the MX-10 flew successfully at a test range near the Schiebel production facility in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. The trial focused on the advanced EO/IR capabilities of the MX-10 and enabled detailed observation of the surrounding area. The MX-10 was controlled via the datalink with real-time live imagery transmitted successfully back to the ground control station.

14 Jan 11. The European Defence Agency has launched a €2.126m call for proposals to develop compact and lightweight radar and systems technology solutions for small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The call is part of a €21m program running from September 2009 until April 2013. That overall program contract was won by a four-company consortium made up of Thales UK, Thales Airborne Systems (France), Selex Galileo (UK) and Saab (Sweden). (Source: Defense News)

16 Jan 11. Three aerospace groups including BAE Systems Plc. will compete for a £600m ($952m) Anglo-French contract to design and build an unmanned attack aircraft, the Sunday Times reported, citing unidentified people in the defense industry. BAE, Europe’s biggest defense contractor, will partner France’s Dassault Aviation SA. Cobham Plc will work with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. will also make a bid, the newspaper said. (Source: The Times)

12 Jan 11. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Hunter Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), in use with the U.S. Army since 1996, recently surpassed 100,000 flight hours in service, more than 72,000 of which were flown in combat. The MQ-5B Hunter, which is currently deployed supporting contingency operations across the globe, provides warfighters with state-of-the-art reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition (RSTA), communications relay and weapons delivery.

07 Jan 11. DARPA sets sail with ultra-long-endurance USV project. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded three concept design contracts as it takes the first steps towards the goal of an ultra-long-endurance unmanned surface vessel (USV) capable of tracking potentially hostile submarines for months at a time. Northrop Grumman, QinetiQ North America and Science Applications International Corp (SAIC) have each received Phase 1 contracts valued at about USD2m apiece. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

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